The developers of the Vivaldi web browser are enhancing its already strong privacy features with built-in content blocking tolls that nix ads and prevent trackers from collecting your browsing information.
Content-blocking is practically a necessity for web browsers these days. Blocking ads, trackers and even cookies can help keep your browsing activity more private, cut down on annoying ads that ruin a site experience and even help pages load faster. Prior to the most recent patch, Vivaldi users had to rely on third-party add-ons to get full protection, but the browser can now handle ad and tracker blocking on its own.
You can quickly enable Vivaldi’s new settings by clicking the shield icon to the right of the URL bar and then selecting the blocking option you want to enable. “Block trackers” will stop any trackers recognised by the browser, while “Block ads and trackers” goes an extra step and rids pages you visit of all ads.
The browser defaults to the “No Blocking” option, but even this setting can be imbued with extra privacy features—such as preventing malware-ridden pop-up ads or blocking all first-party cookies—by clicking “Manage Defaults” under the URL shield menu and navigating to Settings > Privacy.
While we haven’t put the new content-blockers through a full-on gauntlet of tests, we found the blocking of both ads and trackers generally worked well. If you’re being stonewalled into turning on ads for a site, it’s easy to swap your options using the aforementioned shield icon.
Blocked trackers will be listed in the browser privacy settings. Both privacy options are built on the blocklist from DuckDuckGo’s Privacy Essentials browser extension and will update whenever new trackers are added to that list. You can also double-up by enabling the EasyPrivacy blocklist under Settings > Privacy > “Manage Sources.”
Even though Brave is still probably your best option for ad-blocking, Safari still has the edge when it comes to blocking third-party trackers, and add-ons like Ghostery or uBlock Origin are good ways to beef up privacy on Firefox, Vivaldi’s new built-in tools make it a solid choice if you want a more traditional Chrome-like experience on Windows with strong privacy controls and content-blocking out of the box.
The new content blocking features will only show up for users running Vivaldi version 3.0 or higher. Go to Settings > Updates to update to the latest build, or download and install it here.